WASHINGTON, March 26. /TASS/. Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov expressed to the assistant Secretary on Affairs of Europe and Eurasia Wess Mitchell strong protest in connection with Washington’s decision to expel Russian diplomats 60. This was the head of the Russian diplomatic mission said on Monday to journalists.
“Today, at 08:00 am (15:00 GMT) I was invited to the state Department to assistant Secretary Mitchell, who has informed me that due to so-called business Skrobala of the United States of America 48 expelled Russian diplomats and diplomatic workers,” he said.
“With this information, I have expressed strong protest against the illegal actions of the United States of America and stressed that to date there is no evidence of RF interference in the investigation [Skripal] as such, as well as Russian involvement in the tragedy that occurred in Salisbury,” said he.
According to him, the best option for the investigation of the case Skripal is conducting appropriate proceedings in the framework of the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW). “I stress that the optimal solution to the so-called case Sripala is calm and professional investigation in the framework of the OPCW, where all interested countries”, – he said.
Antonov said that the U.S. will leave the 46 diplomats from Washington, two of the Consulate General in new York, another 12 employees of the permanent mission to the UN declared persona non grata. “We are talking about that 46 people – this is something that concerns Washington and two people from our Consulate General in new York. I just received additional information that another 12 diplomats declared persona non grata from our permanent mission to the United Nations. In addition, 30 Mar closed our Consulate General in Seattle (WA)”, – he said.
“We relied on common sense”
Antonov admitted that the Embassy had expected such development of the situation. “In the last days was quite a lot of publications, he continued. We relied on common sense. We hoped that the United States will take the position of sensible negotiator and, as we said, will assist London in order to stop there from hysteria”.
“And, of course, we are disappointed with this behaviour of the United States of America who decided for no reason without having any evidence, simply declare sanctions against the Russian Federation”, – stated the Ambassador. “I am sure the time will come and they will realize how serious the mistake was made. I hope that maybe in the future our relations will be restored”, – he added.
“And, of course, it is essential that we engage the main facing us today, the problem of international terrorism. And these relations between the great powers only obstruct decision is extremely important outstanding issues”, – said the head of the diplomatic mission.
Moscow will give an adequate response
Antonov also said that Moscow will give an adequate response to the decision of the US authorities to send 60 Russian diplomats to leave unpunished such steps is impossible.
“I can say one thing: Washington is nothing other than power, does not understand. Remember how it was in 70-e years when our fought on the fields of hockey against Canada? With us, not even Hello. And only when we broke the canadian national team, back then, we admired, we began to shake hands”, – he said.
“And I think the answer should be adequate, Moscow decides. But I think, even as a citizen of the Russian Federation, to leave unpunished such an ill-conceived, such provocative steps”, – said the head of the diplomatic mission. Antonov stressed that “today the United States is ruining what little that still remained in Russian-American relations.”
Decisions of the United States are inconsistent with the contents of the conversation between Putin and trump
The decision on expulsion from the United States a large group of employees of the Russian diplomatic missions, as well as the closure of the Consulate General of Russia in Seattle are contrary to the contents of a recent telephone conversation between presidents of the two countries, Vladimir Putin and Donald trump, said Antonov.
He was blamed for the further degradation of Russian-American relations at Washington. The Ambassador believes that the actions of the US authorities “destroyed [all] so we stored, so we sheltered in Russian-American relations.”
“Frankly, the last conversation between Vladimir Putin and Donald trump [March 20] is encouraging. He was constructive, and we very much hope that the thoughts that were voiced by our two leaders will be implemented in specific cases”, – said the Ambassador.
The diplomat found it difficult to give a forecast about what may be the further development of Russian-American relations, again indicating that the US actions are a significant factor of uncertainty.
“Just two days ago I met with a number of Western European and Asian ambassadors at formal events here in Washington. I liked very accurate description of what is happening today in Washington, the policies of the current administration: predictable unpredictability. What can we expect next from the government [USA], it is difficult to say. But in the current situation, we will, to the extent possible, to work quietly, professionally, to continue to work here in the Embassy, which remain” – said Antonov.
According to him, Moscow will take all possible measures to diplomats left the United States within the prescribed one-week period. “We have, unfortunately, is the sad experience of activities in a crisis situation. This is a serious blow to the quantitative and qualitative composition of the Russian Embassy in Washington. We will take all necessary steps, of course, in agreement and with assistance of Moscow to all Russian citizens could leave the United States in a timely manner,” the Ambassador said.
The Ambassador noted that Washington and Moscow have a special responsibility for peace and security throughout the world, being permanent members of the UN Security Council and the most powerful nuclear powers. “Russia and USA are permanent members of the Security Council, the two most powerful nuclear powers, and our countries have a special responsibility for international peace and security. I stressed that what you do today, the United States of America, destroys what little that still remained in Russian-American relations,” he said, putting that conveyed the same information to the American authorities.